AUSTIN -- The Shiner Lady Comanches can be forgiven for having a case of stage fright.
At top in purple, lead Shiner runner Laneshia Hunt hands off to Stacey Perez in the 4x100m Relay at Friday's UIL State Track & Field Meet at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin. photos by T.C. Baker, Victoria Advocate
The Lady Comanches competed in front of a crowd bigger than their hometown, but it didn't stop them from finishing third in the Class 1A team standings at the UIL Track and Field State Championships on Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Shiner brought home two medals and scored 36 points, finishing just behind Dallas Gateway, which won the team title with 40 points, and Era, which was second with 38.
"This is the most people my kids have ever seen," said Shiner coach Wendell Boner. "This is the most people they have ever run in front of or anything like that. You're talking 8 to 10,000 fans and there aren't 8 to 10,000 people in Shiner. It's a big difference."
The Lady Comanches finished second behind Dallas Gateway in the 400-meter relay (49.93) and third behind Gateway and Flatonia (1:47.22) in the 800 relay (1:47.59). Shiner had Sahuntae Hights score points in the high jump (5 feet), Stacey Perez do the same in the 100 hurdles (15.98), and Laneshia Hunt add to the total in the 100 (13.37).
"I feel really good about how we ran today," said Amber Ramirez, who ran on the relays with Perez, Hunt and Teri Flowers. "We just came out and everybody was rested and came out and performed very well."
"I think we gave it our all we gave everything we have in it and with this weather and just the conditions," Perez added. "We've been working really hard and I'm pleased with how we came out."
The meet was delayed for over five hours by rain and lightning and it cooled off the temperatures considerably.
"It was a change," Perez said. "We did the best of what we were capable of doing."
Cuero's Monte Green was scheduled to compete in the Class 3A long jump at 1:30 p.m., but had to wait until 8:30 p.m. because of the weather.
Green shook off the delay and a sore ankle, which allowed him to practice only three days before the meet and finished third with a leap of 22-7.75.
"I knew I could come out and do something but I had to get my ankle ready before I could do that," Green said. "I taped up my ankle and I knew the adrenaline was going to take over. I was happy to win a medal and I'm determined to come back next year and do even more."
At right, Flatonia's 4x200 meter anchor leans across the finish line to capture 2nd place. Shiner's Amber Ramirez (#5 in purple at left) finishes third for Shiner.
Refugio's Logan Koonce came into the meet seeded sixth in the Class 2A pole vault, but equaled his personal best by clearing 14-6 and earned a silver medal.
"I was excited and nervous," Koonce said. "I was just trying to think about pole vaulting and get everything else out of my mind. On the 14-6, I did what I was supposed to do. I knew I could get up there with all of them because I've done it in practice."
Koonce used two poles during the competition, which was completed before the meet was delayed.
"Pole vaulting is a funny thing," said Refugio coach Jacob Ray. "Everything has to add up. Considering he had no tailwind and a wet runway, to equal his personal best on the biggest stage is pretty impressive."
East Bernard captured a pair of silver medals in the Class 2A 3200-meter run from Amanda Walters (11:22.53) and Nick Guerra (9:33.36). Van Vleck's La'Tricia Griffin earned a silver medal in the Class 2A discus (130-0).
Rice Consolidated's Chris Dorsey competed in one the day's last events and won a bronze medal in the Class 2A discus (155-3).
The Shiner girls went home with two medals. But with the entire team returning, next year's haul could be even bigger.
"There are a lot of nerves going on here," Boner said. "They competed well. We scored 36 points which was short of our goal of 40, but we'll learn from our experience and see that every point is vital."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.